John Thomas, a police officer with the New Mexico VA Health Care System, noticed a vehicle swerving back and forth at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center and quickly reacted and stopped the vehicle before the driver could hurt himself or others.
Upon approaching the driver, Thomas realized the individual was having a medical emergency and immediately coordinated assistance and got the Resuscitation Education Initiative team to the scene.
“Based on my experience as a police officer, I knew that my assistance was needed right away,” said Thomas, who has more than 28 years of experience as a police office in both a military and civilian capacity.
He was right. The REdI team quickly realized the patient’s health was deteriorating and requested Thomas’ assistance with transporting the patient to the emergency department.
The Veteran patient was ultimately transported to a local heart hospital with a dissecting aorta – a severe life-threatening emergency.
Thomas’s keen observations and quick actions allowed for timely medical care and the patient’s recovery.
About the author: Ron Bassford is a public affairs officer for the New Mexico VA Health Care System.